Content warning: Sexual violence
For the past few years I have identified as Asexual – or ‘Ace’. I knew for a long time that my experience of sexual relationships and sex was different to others’ but had no concept of my identity. Even as a teenager I knew that sex was not for me. I had never been presented with an option for sexuality that suited me. I thought for many years that I was Lesbian. To my mind women were less icky than men – although still icky! After a very unpleasant sexual experience with a man at the age of 16 I figured the only option for me was being Lesbian. Nobody had ever told me there was an option other than gay, straight or bi so by that understanding I must be gay.
As a twenty-something I sought a pattern, not for sex but for companionship and because society expected me to have a partner. Even in relationships I had very little sex. I was threatened by sex and found it to personal and invasive plus I was very averse to bodily fluids. Tongue kissing was something which revolted me but which others seemed to enjoy.
Not that long ago I came across the sexuality that is Asexual. I finally knew that my sexual identity was a ‘thing’. It took me a while to see it as part of my identity but when I did it was a good thing. One thing which concerned me was that as an Autistic Ace I occupied the position of an unhelpful stereotype. There are often assumptions that all Autistic people are Ace. While this is not true, I didn’t like being part of a stereotype and felt uncomfortable being an Autistic advocate who is Ace. More recently I have added my asexuality to my list of things I have a sense of pride for. Being Ace can be really difficult and there can be discrimination and even violence levelled at Ace people. I am now a proud Ace and very happy total about my sexuality with others. And I am far from a prude. I am actually very sex positive – I just don’t want anyone doing whatever with me!